Oriental Garden


14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY


Today a bunch of us Malaysian went to have Dim Sum at Oriental Garden on Elizabeth and Canal. It was amazing how much food we ate and how quickly we consumed all those dim sums!! It's obvious that we were the most rowdy bunch there, but since we were ordering so much food and since the managers knew our friend Nina really well, we got special treatment (and extra chili sauce! Ha!). This is officially one of my favorite Dim Sum places in NYC. Expect to wait in line especially on the weekends. Gan: Dim Sum is one of the most recognizable chinese cantonese dish. It translate as "touch of the heart". As with many Chinese dishes, you can always find a story behind every chinese dish origin. The one for dim sum is one of my favorite. One of the past king of China's wives used this little snacks to win the heart of the King and stole his attention away from the other wives. The moral of the story? Not only can you get the chicks, you get food to go with it as well! Lol.

In America, the better dim sum are usually found in the west coast due to what I think is a higher concentration of Cantonese immigrants (from HK) there. NYC's chinese immigrants are usually from other regions of China. That's probably why the dim sum is usually not as good as in some other west coast cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles or Vancouver. Oriental Garden is definitely one of the better ones in the city. According to Nina, she had yet to find any dim sum restaurant, on both side of the coast that serves better dim sum. I agree!

"Chong Fun with Yao Tui"
Gan: Darling, err.. isn't it yao tiu? Why don't you just call it Char Liong?

Assorted Dim Sums
Gan: Bean curd with some meat fillings and sauce. I love this.

Tea + Dim Sums
Gan: Dim sum dishes are usually quite greasy. Tea is a good way to wash them all down.

Egg Tarts

The yaokuis - seriously, that's all Malaysians do, eat!
Gan: Troublemakers lah!

Look at how many dim sums we ordered?! We were not even done yet!!
Gan: This was just during the first 15 minutes of the meal. Each circle represents a dim sum basket/steamer.

Oriental Garden on Urbanspoon



705 Ninth Ave, New York, NY



Kyotofu has been on our "to try list" for a long time since I love tofu (ALOT). Today we met up with Ray and Sarah there for afternoon tea. I thought the black sesame sweet tofu that I ordered was yummilicious and the chocolate souffle cupcake that Ray ordered (which I stole some) was pretty good as well. We chatted with one of the owners of Kyotofu on our way out and was surprised to find out that he knew the owner of Kyoto Tofu Cafe at Roppongi Hills, which is one of my favorite cafe in Tokyo. Gan and I told Michael, the owner, that we love the tofu doughnut at Kyoto Tofu Cafe and hinted that it would be great if they open a store in NYC. Lets see if that will happen. I will be their #1 customer for sure!
Gan: I feel the tofu was made fresh but forgot to ask Michael, the owner. However, they serve their tofu with a spoonful of sweet sauce which overpowers the delicate taste of the tofu. The tofu itself was really good and in my opinion, could do without the sweet stuffs.

Black sesame sweet tofu - very delicate and not too sweet.
Gan: But the syrup on the side was quite sweet. It's good that they separate it so we have the option to not use it.

Signature sweet tofu - Gan forgot to leave some for me and ate the whole thing by himself!
Gan: ^_^' sorry, boss

My cup of Hoji-cha

Chocolate souffle cupcake - tasted more like souffle than cupcake, but it was good. Thanks Ray, for sharing!

Here's the lunch menu

Sarah, Ray, Sarah, Gan :)
Gan: Was meeting with Sarah and Ray who just came back from Shanghai. The interior of the shop is modern, simple and clean. Matches well with the focus of their product.

That's the owner Michael, was really nice talking to him.

Kyotofu's pastry chefs

Kyotofu on Urbanspoon

Mooncake Foods


Mooncake Foods

Address: 28 Watt St, New York, NY

Phone: 212-219-8888

Ok, we have finally tried Mooncake Foods, the famous Asian Diner that is located close to the Holland Tunnel entrance. We definitely agree that there are some nice dishes there, especially the appetizers such as Lobster & Mango Summer Rolls and Baked Mussels with Sambal Mayo. However, the entrees are just alright. My friend Shaun and I ordered the Shanghai Wontons, and I thought the noodles and wontons were not good at all, while Gan thought the Pork Chops with white wine & soy he ordered was just average. We would probably just make that a place where we can order some appetizers to go the next time we are on our way home to Jersey.

Lobster & Mango Summer Rolls - the mango sauce was delicious

Baked Mussels with Sambal Mayo, nicely done

Pork Chops with White wine & soy

Shanghai Wonton soup with Noodles

Chanto NYC


Chanto NYC

Note: The restaurant has closed down recently - 3/30/08
133 7th Ave South, New York, NY


Phone: 212-463-8686

I forgot to bring my camera with me last night so I had to take pictures of the food at Chanto restaurant with my iphone camera under pretty bad lightings. Glad the pictures turned out decent.

We have eaten at Chanto upstairs sometime ago and thought the food was pretty good. I love their King of Kimchee dish (a variety of sashimi, watercress, cilantro, pine nuts, cashew nuts and fructus lycii marinated with spicy chojan sauce wrapped with Kimchee leaves). They also have some western fusion dishes such as Giant Shrimp Risotto and Sauteed Foie Gras that focuses on the use of Japanese ingredients and seasonings such as Miso and Teriyaki sauce.

For last night, Gan and I went to Chanto Bar (downstairs) for Kobe Beef burger. It was definitely one of the nicer burgers we have eaten, the kobe beef burger was wonderfully cooked. We definitely recommend this place (Chanto Bar) if you love burger (and kobe beef)!
Gan: It was DJ night so it was great to be at the bar. The mix was great with selections from both side of the pacific. Just like the music, the food at Chanto is sort of an Japanese-American fusion with heavier bias on Japanese.. and sometimes Korean. This is a popular chain in Japan as well. It was a classic nyc fall season rainy night so the atmosphere, to me, was just nice.. for a nice way to wind down your week on a Friday night. For some reason, I was into Kobe beef burger that night, after losing a bet at work on something stupid like whether Apple's new Leopard include Boot Camp which provides Windows Vista drivers for Macbook Pro. Yea.. I'm a nerd.

Kobe Beef Burger with One egg and Fries on the side
The burger is also cooked in teriyaki sauce. It was good.. but I guess at roughly ~$10-14 bucks for the burger, you don't exactly get the best marbled kobe beef in the burger patty. It was definitely better than just angus though.

Wu Liang Ye


36 W 48th St, New York

Phone: 212-398-2308

Shredded Pork in Spicy Garlic Sauce

Wu Liang Ye is definitely one of the better Szechuan restaurants in New York City. The food is good, but I thought the individual dishes are quite pricey...maybe that's just "midtown" prices. Seems like this is also a suitable place for group dining since the dining room is quite huge and it's furnished with a number of large round dining tables that can accommodate about 10-12 people per table.
Gan: Szechuan food is always one of the best of the Chinese cuisine. As with any cuisine, strong spices were used in the old days to preserve food in addition to the seasoning. The trick is to use it to enhance the taste of the ingredients and not overpowering. In szechuan dishes however, it seems the stronger it is, the better it is. Strange.

Twice Cooked Pork
Gan: Classic Szechuan dish. "Twice cooking" it means the meat, which is usually pork belly, is blanched or boiled in water with ginger and salt first before cooking it again by stir frying it with the condiments and sauce.

Mabo Tofu
Gan: Another classic Szechuan dish. There's a legend of the pock-marked old lady which explains the origin of this dish.

Baby Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Sauce

Pepper Steak

Steamed Whole Fish with Ginger and Scallions

Our friend Ying who organized this dinner. Thanks Ying!
Gan: Ying Ying is one of the glue to the social circle among Malaysians in NYC. She and a few friends were cooking up some philanthropic ideas and were graciously sharing ideas with us at the dinner.

Wu Liang Ye on Urbanspoon

Kara-age Chicken


Kara-age Chicken

I made this for dinner today and it was super easy. I've marinated the chicken thigh pieces with ginger juice, soy sauce and sake/rice wine the night before. To cook it, I just dust the chicken pieces with some flour and deep fry in oil. After the chicken is ready, remove from the oil and sprinkle some salt, pepper and seaweed flakes and serve while hot.
Gan: Best!

Pho Thanh Hoai

Address: 249 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ

Phone: 201-239-1988

The beef noodles soup, grilled pork on rice and bo luc lac here are delicious. The rest of the dishes I've tried here were good also. They have steamboat/hotpot or BBQ if you are in the mood for that. It's usually very crowded during dinner time, everyday. Gan: To any restaurateurs in the NYC metro area.. why aren't you opening more quality Asian restaurant in Jersey City area? You can command premium NYC price, have little to no competition, and a client base who's dying for some authentic Asian food. It's a no brainer! This Vietnamese restaurant is one of the only decent authentic Asian food in JC.

Summer rolls

Longan drink with shaved ice

Beef noodles soup + beef balls

Grilled pork chop on rice

China Table Tokyo Hanten

Address: Mitsuwa Supermarket, 595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ

Phone: 847-357-0286

I like Japanese style chinese food and "Chin-Jiao Ro-Su" (above) is one of my favorites. China Table Tokyo Hanten in Mitsuwa's foodcourt serves pretty good mabo dofu, Ebi chili and gyoza as well. Gan: Japanese chinese, Shanghai chinese, Szechuan chinese, Cantonese chinese, Fujian chinese, Korean chinese, Philipino, Hainanese chinese.. they are all chinese and yet they are different. Quite possibly the most varied adaptations of any cuisine.

Santoka Ramen

Address: Mitsuwa Supermarket, 595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ

Phone: 847-357-0286

If you have cravings for awesome ramen (I mean, really really really awesome ramen) and don't know where to get it, we strongly recommend that you make a trip to Mitsuwa Supermarket at Edgewater NJ and try this ramen place in the supermarket's foodcourt. I never liked ramen until I have tasted the ones in Tokyo, and trust me, Santoka serves good ramen, even by Tokyo's standard. But expect to wait in line especially during the weekends. It's that good!
Gan: I still remember the original Santoka ramen I tried in Tokyo after a party at the TK boss' home late at night. The toroniku at that Santoka somewhere near Shibuya was to die for. The char shiu just melts in your mouth and I'm serious about that! Not even a bite is needed. Just like the best toro tuna. Thanks to Eric and Ryo-chan for bringing me there. Ever since then, I always complained about not having any good ramen place back here in NYC/NJ. Now with a Santoka chain available in Edgewater, NJ, I can put that to rest.



170 8th Ave, New York


Phone: 212-488-2510

Gan read about Pinkberry somewhere and brought me there to sample some Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies. We love Jamba Juice's smoothies, but hate the fact that they add so much sugar. So it is good to know that we now have another place to go for great smoothies without all those sugar. There was a long line to get in, but once you order and pay at the cashier, it doesn't take too long for pick up. Gan and I really enjoyed our Green Tea Yogurt and Pinkberry Smoothie. Will definitely go back for more next time! Gan: This seems to be the most recent fad in the smoothie business, just as Jamba juice had been the past couple of years. These seems to originate from California and pops all over the NYC city at insane rate. With the urban setting and its health conscious dwellers, I can see why the no sugar and no preservatives yogurt based ice cream + fresh fruits could work well. Then again, it's a fad... so it'll stay popular until either we all get tired of it or the next "in" thing is here.

Pick a topping, or two or however many you want!

Green Tea Frozen Yogurt with Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackberry ( I love all types of Berries!)

Pinkberry smoothie
*pictures taken using iphone camera

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